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760 Reviews of Books
of dates in Cecil's journal, according to which the prosecution ruins its
own case by establishing for the letter an absurd chronology and the pre-
sumption of forgery. Distinguishing sharply between the legal case and
the historical case against Mary, Mr. Lang rejects the prosecution's dates
and erects a provisional scheme based upon the agreement of two inde-
pendent Edinburgh diaries concerning the date of an Edinburgh matter.
Had Cecil's journal presented the date of the diaries, the letter's chron-
ology would not have been open to attack.
Most critics consider the Glasgow letter the clumsy work of a forger
who has cut a genuine letter into pieces and interpolated false matter.
Paragraph seven concludes with the words — " The morne I wil speik to
him upon this Point : " paragraph eleven ends — " This is my first jornay
(day's work). I sail end ye same ye morne." Mr. Lang's explana-
tion is simple and excludes the idea of interpolation. Mary wrote these
words, consecutively, at night, the first expression at the bottom of one
sheet, the other at the top of a fresh sheet. Next day she picked up the
second sheet on the unused side, and continued her letter, not discover-
ing her words of the previous night until she turned the page. She then
probably ran her pen lightly through the lines, but later a bungling tran-
scriber and translator copied the whole affair. Hinc Mm lachrymm. Mr.
Lang's ingenious explanation, supported by an identical instance in the
case of Mary's sonnet in the Bodleian, has since acquired additional
probability. The authentic manuscripts from which Father Pollen in his
recent publication prints for the first time Mary's long letter to the Duke
of Guise, exhibits, mutatis mutandis, a similar mistake on Mary's part.
O. H. Richardson.
Papal Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots during her Reign in
Scotland, r§6i-i^6j. Edited, from the original documents in
the Vatican Archives and elsewhere, by John Hungerford
Pollen, S.J. (Edinburgh : T. and A. Constable, for the Scottish
History Society. 1901. Pp. cxliii, 555.)
Father Pollen's volume contains two hundred and fifty-nine
hitherto unprinted documents, edited with scrupulous care, and accom-
panied by accurate translations and full notes. The collection practi-
cally fills the gap which remained in the records of Mary's reign after
the publication of the Spanish Calendar with the exception of her corre-
spondence with the Cardinal of Lorraine. This Father Pollen was unable
to find, and he despairs of its recovery.
The introduction to the work is itself a valuable contribution to his-
tory. It exhibits old problems in the light of the new facts and dispels
many mysteries. First is disclosed the fatal weakness of French policy
with respect to Scotland during the regency of Mary of Lorraine — not
an out-and-out French and Roman Catholic policy, but "an endeavor to
cloak a policy of compromise with the appearance of being ' thorough. ' ' '
The attempt betrayed the essential weakness of France, roused the
Pollen: Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots 761
suspicions of both friends and foes, and led to political combinations
which ruined French power in Scotland.
As to religious matters, Mary Stuart in the documents appears to rule
consistently as a politique, not as an extremist whose ultimate endeavor
was to undo the Reformation. She aimed at an English alliance, was
"not oppressed by her duty as a Catholic sovereign," and seems to
manifest more desire for Roman subsidies than for Roman rites. Ap-
parently the papal diplomatists were not consulted at all about Mary's
assumption of the English arms.
The strongest argument for believing that Mary signed the Catholic
League disappears with the publication of a letter from Pius IV. to the Car-
dinal of Lorraine, dated September 25th, 1565, expressly refusing to send
Mary a subsidy. In fact, Father Pollen, finding no diplomatic material
at Rome or in the archives of any of the countries said to be concerned,
argues conclusively enough that no such league ever existed. Absence
of such documents from the archives of one state might be accidental ;
absence from all amounts to proof positive. In a similar way he is able
to show that Rizzio was not a papal emissary.
The documents further enable Father Pollen to unravel the mystery
attending the dispensation for the Darnley marriage. The wedding
occurred July 29 ; the dispensation was not granted until some time
between August 14 and September 25. On the 22nd of July, however,
the day when the banns were published, Mary had received from the
Pope a communication which the papal nuncio at Paris, one of its for-
warders, believed to be the dispensation itself. Circumstances were
pressing, Mary acted as if the dispensation had been granted — rumors
were rife that it had been and Mary may have believed them — married
Darnley and said nothing. Labanoff erroneously asserts that Mary's
envoy, the bishop of Dunblane, arrived at Edinburgh with the dispensa-
tion on the 22nd of July and the banns were at once published. Recent
historians have followed Labanoff.
Father Pollen rightly considers that the letters of Laureo, bishop of
Mondovi, a nuncio despatched from Rome in June, 1566, form the most
valuable body of documents in the entire collection. They prove the
energy and determination with which Pius V. sought to regain the
obedience of Scotland ; they show also Mary's coolness in the cause, and
the consistency with which she carried out her policy of compromise.
The account which they give of the great tragedy of the reign is the
fullest we possess, considering their early date. Two new details are of
considerable importance. The first is a definite statement that " one rib
in the King's body was found broken by the 'jump ' of the fall, and all
the inward parts crushed and bruised." The second is a circumstantial
account of a simultaneous attack on Darnley in Edinburgh and Lennox
in Glasgow. If this be true, it tends, as Father Pollen suggests, to
redeem Mary from the charge of active participation in the murder on
the score of her bringing Darnley from comparative safety at Glasgow to
certain danger at Edinburgh. Finally, Laureo's letters prove that un-
762 Reviews of Books
sparing condemnation was meted out to Mary by papal emissaries and
the Pope himself on account of her marriage with Bothwell. Negoti-
ations were discontinued for two years.
It is with great interest that we await Father Pollen's critical edition
of the Lennox papers and documents relating to the proposed excom-
munication of Elizabeth at Trent. O. H. Richardson.
The True Story of Captain John Smith. By Katherine Pearson
Woods. (New York : Doubleday, Page and Co. 1902. Pp.
There is welcome awaiting the book that shall tell Smith's story
effectively or test his trustworthiness critically. Probably one volume
cannot do both things ; certainly the present volume does neither.
The plan of the narrative is well conceived : one hundred and twenty
pages suffice for all possible detail before and after the Virginian voyage,
two brief chapters give the historical setting for the Jamestown expedi-
tion and over half the volume is reserved for Smith's heroic two years as
colonist and governor. Moreover, Miss Woods feels to the full the
charm of the robust manhood and romantic adventure wherewith her
hero's own accounts clothe him, and she believes implicitly in his
honesty. Nevertheless the story element is ruined by the intrusion of
superfluous and shallow judgments and by a thoroughly wretched and
And while the book is unsatisfactory to the lover of a good story, it
is positively irritating to the historical student. "Not the least impor-
tant" object of the volume, according to the preface, is " to still once
and for all those disturbing voices that have of late years been busy in
aspersing his [Smith's] memory." As a chief means to the accomplish-
ment of this modest purpose, Miss Woods reprints two old maps of
southern Russia, and she hopes that "for the future" certain names
therein "will convict of simple ignorance him who doubts that John
Smith fought the Turks in the ' Land of Zarkam ' or was carried a slave
and prisoner into ' Tartaria " ' ! Miss Woods seems not to know Mr.
Lewis L. Kropf s formidable demonstration that the whole Transylvanian
story is a worthless romance. So long as the Pocahontas story was
taken as the touchstone of Smith's character, we were compelled to
judge mainly from Smith's own rather confusing evidence, and it was
largely a matter of temperament whether one believed him the soul of
honor or a more or less artistic liar. But the Turks' heads and the coat
of arms, it seems, may be tested by other than subjective standards.
Mr. Kropfs articles in the London Notes and Queries of 1890 have
taken the Transylvanian episodes out of the field of psychology into that
of history, and Miss Woods's two maps go very little way toward silencing
this disturbing voice.
The book teems with minor faults. In a work that claims historical
character, it is not reassuring to come upon such uncalled for surmises as
that Smith's Tartar lady Charatza "may very possibly have been even